China China’s Nanjing city imposes fines on companies illegally handling hazardous chemicals

The Emergency Management Bureau of Nanjing City, China in January 2021 prosecuted a Nanjing-based rubber manufacturer for illegally storing hazardous chemicals and imposed a fine of 3,450,000 yuan (approximately 56 million yen) on it, the largest fine ever imposed for illegally storing hazardous chemicals in Jiangsu province.

According to the bureau, it discovered that an unidentified company was using drums to store hazardous chemicals, as it examined registration information of companies handling hazardous chemicals, an administrative process started in 2020. Since there was no place in Nanjing city’s jurisdiction that met the criteria for storing hazardous chemicals in this sort of container, the bureau suspected illegal operations and carried out an investigation. It identified a Nanjing-based rubber manufacturer as a suspect in the illegal handling of hazardous chemicals by examining the transportation history of a dubious hazardous chemical transportation vehicle and other clues.

The bureau then conducted an on-site investigation of the company and found 12 underground tanks buried in an oil warehouse with a total capacity of approximately 320 m3, which contained a total of 94.49 tons of hazardous chemicals, including petroleum ether and n-heptane. It confirmed that the company’s hazardous chemical operation license didn’t permit storing hazardous chemicals in the place where the company kept them, or building a hazardous chemical storage facility. The bureau determined that the company had built the storage tanks and stored hazardous chemicals illegally. The officer of the bureau on the spot ordered the company to stop handling the chemicals immediately.

The bureau prosecuted the case after seizing the company’s ledgers and other relevant materials and conducting further investigation. It then officially confiscated all the profits made from the illegal operations and imposed a fine of 3,450,000 yuan as administrative penalties against the Nanjing-based rubber manufacturer according to the Regulations on Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals and other pertinent legislation. The bureau determined that other 28 companies were also involved in the case, illegally handling hazardous chemicals, and imposed fines of 5 million yuan (approximately 82 million yen) in total on them.

The full text of the article on the case (in simplified Chinese) is available at:

http://www.chemicalsafety.org.cn/detail.php?oneid=39644